Some preliminary renderings are out for the tech campus Kushner Companies et al are creating in Dumbo out of the five Watchtower properties they snapped up last year for $375,000,000. Kushner, RFR Realty and LIVWRK are rebranding the interconnected buildings as “Dumbo Heights,” The New York Daily News reported yesterday.

Plans for the $100,000,000 overhaul include a gourmet market, roof deck, pet-friendly spaces, daycare facilities and bicycle storage. Rents will start at under $60 a square foot at the 1.2-million-square-foot complex. Click through the jump for some more renderings and a map of the buildings from the project’s fancy new website.

Watchtower Buildings to Become Dumbo Heights [Daily News]


And in other Jehovah’s Witnesses real estate news, a developer is planning a 12-story, 105-unit rental building for 177 Front Street between Jay and Bridge Streets, occupied by a one-story garage that the Witnesses sold last March for $30,600,000. The Real Deal reported that developer Megalith Capital is going to build mostly one- and two-bedroom units ranging from $3,000 to $6,000 per month, or roughly $65 to $70 per square foot.

Twenty percent of the apartments will be “affordable” units. Designed by Aufgang Architects, the high-rise will also house a restaurant and underground parking. And next door at 200 Water Street, which was also part of the $30,600,000 buy, Megalith is converting a brick factory to condos.

Megalith Plans 105-Unit Dumbo Rental – With Parking [TRD]  GMAP
Photo by Google Maps


Development partners Kushner Companies, RFR Realty and LIVWRK Holdings have filed their first round of permits to begin construction on five of the former Watchtower buildings in Dumbo, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported last week. The DOB has approved permits for mechanical and plumbing work and the removal of interior partitions for the hulking former Jehovah’s Witnesses buildings at 55 Prospect Street, 81 Prospect Street, 117 Adams Street, 77 Sands Street and 175 Pearl Street.

The buildings are being made over into office space with tech tenants in mind, as previously reported. The former Bible-printing plants sold for a combined $240,000,000 last October, as part of a bigger $375,000,000 deal that included various other Witnesses properties in Brooklyn Heights, such as a hotel at 90 Sands Street, according to the story.

Construction Plans Okayed for Former Witnesses’ Buildings in Dumbo [Daily Eagle]
Watchtower Development Will Boot Dumbo Into the Big Leagues [Brownstoner]


The Landmarks Preservation Commission has approved developer Shelly Listokin’s plans to rebuild the back facade and add two glass floors to the top of the landmarked building at 200 Water Street, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported. Aufgang Architects designed the new plans for the former Watchtower building, which received approval from the LPC on Tuesday.

As we reported in September, Listokin’s Urban Realty Partners plans to create 15 apartments in the building and convert it to condos. The Brillo Manufacturing Co. “daylight factory” and warehouse was built in 1950 and designed by Sydney Goldstone. Using an LLC, Listokin bought the Water Street building along with neighboring lots 173 and 177 Front Street for $30,600,000 in March.

At 177 Front Street, Aufgang has already filed a plan exam (which was disapproved) for a 12-story apartment, 105-unit building with ground floor commercial space. That property is outside of the historic district and won’t require landmarks approval.

Landmarks Preservation Commission Approves 200 Water St. Plans [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]
Developer Hopes to Put Apartments on Witnesses Lots in Dumbo [Brownstoner]
Image by Aufgang Architects via Brooklyn Daily Eagle


The former Jehovah’s Witnesses property at 183 Columbia Heights has been flipped and is back on the market as seven condos starting at $1,915,000, Curbed reported. The Riverview has three-bedroom, 2.5-bath condos clocking in at 1,700 square feet on the upper floors and 1,900 square feet for a first-floor maisonette.

Only three of the seven condos are on the market right now, with asking prices of $1,995,000, $2,045,000 and $2,175,000. The Witnesses sold the building for $6,600,000 in April while unloading some of their other Dumbo and Brooklyn Heights properties. The buyer was David Mitchell of Mitchel Holdings. The architect is Jeffrey Cole.

Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Property Reborn as Condos From $1.9M [Curbed]


Yesterday Crain’s reported that 183 Columbia Heights, the last of three Jehovah’s Witnesses properties brokerage Massey Knakal was marketing, sold for $6.6 million. A managing member of the group of investors that purchased the property had this to say: “Mr. Mitchell said the deal is seen as the first of many in the borough for the group as it intends to build a multi-family portfolio there. His group has primarily focused on developing condo and commercial properties in Manhattan as well as Miami. ‘We are actively looking at properties in Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Dumbo, Vinegar Hill and Boerum Hill,’ said Mr. Mitchell, adding that Brooklyn is no longer considered a secondary place to live.” The building at 183 Columbia Heights is a seven-story, elevator apartment building, according to the article. Over the summer the Jehovah’s Witnesses put several of their Heights holdings on the market via Corcoran and Massey, and at this point at least half have sold. None of the organization’s huge buildings in the Heights or Dumbo have been put up for sale yet, though.
Group With Big Brooklyn Plan Snaps Up Property [Crain’s]
Photo by PropertyShark